For Queens firefighter and former Golden Gloves amateur champion Jose De La Rosa, the chance to advance his pro boxing career at Coney Island’s MCU Park in two Tuesdays simply adds to the dream he lives every day as part of the legions of proud men and women who comprise “New York’s Bravest.”
“I was really competitive as a youngster and always wanted to be a pro athlete, but I was too small for basketball and football. With boxing as long as you have the drive and the discipline, you can become a champion in different weight classes, so the sport really appealed to me,” said De La Rosa, a welterweight, whose pro record increased to 2-0 (1 KO) after a victory by decision three days after his FDNY graduation. “Also, I love helping people so being a firefighter is a dream job. Pro boxing is a passion and has been a dream for me for a long time, so I get to live two dreams in one.”
De La Rosa has only been boxing for seven years combined as an amateur and a pro, but has quickly ascended to the highest elevations within the sport. A resident of Queens, his boxing roots span into Manhattan and now Brooklyn, where he won the 2013 Golden Gloves title on the big stage at Barclays Center.
“I’m from the Woodside-Astoria section of Queens but have ties to Brooklyn through training, and I became a Golden Gloves champion at Barclays. And now I’m fighting in a great venue in Brooklyn again on Aug. 25 at MCU Park,” said De La Rosa, who trains out of Atlas Cops and Kids in Flatbush. “My fans, family and whoever comes to support is going have a great time. Right now within my firefighter battalion – which includes five firehouses – they know this fight is coming and I hope as many people as possible can come out and support.”
“One thing that firefighters do is support each other every day. I believe in that and that the FDNY will be there for me with support. As a firefighter, we support each other every day with our lives, as we look to accomplish our dreams,” De La Rosa said.
With boxing experiencing a resurgence in the New York area – making appearances on national TV and looking to return to its golden age, when the sweet science was a mainstay in prime time and the sports pages – boxing champion-turned-promoter Dmitriy Salita begins this year’s Brooklyn Brawl series in a standout venue. Salita is proud to present a stacked card in Coney Island, the seaside amusement destination which provides thrills to hordes of revelers every summer.
“Brooklyn Brawl has produced some of the best fights in the New York area in recent memory and our matches on Aug. 25 have the recipe for the same,” Salita said.
In the main event, former world title challenger Alex Miskirtchian (25-3-1, 9 KOs) tops the slate against well-known Brooklyn battler Cornelius Lock (22-7-2, 14 KOs) in a featherweight clash scheduled for 10 rounds. NYPD officer Niyazov (7-0-3, 5KOs) meets Ariel “Fuego” Duran (8-7-1, 5KOs) of Queens in a highly-anticipated lightweight bout scheduled for eight rounds. Salita is also particularly excited about a six-round junior welterweight clash between Treysean “Trigger” Wiggins (6-1, 5KOs) of Newburgh, N.Y. and Francisco “El Gato” Figueroa (20-7-1, 13 KOs) of The Bronx.
Gates open at 6 p.m. with the first bout scheduled for 7 p.m. as “Brooklyn Brawl: Boxing At The Beach” brings pro boxing to the Coney Island boardwalk for the first time in 14 years. The last professional boxing event at the Brooklyn Cyclones’ venue occurred on July 8, 2001, when Hector Camacho Jr. defeated Jesse James Leija via a controversial, referee-halted TKO.
Snag your tix for “Boxing At the Beach” today, to ensure you wind down the season with a rock em, sock em evening of pugilism.
Doors open at 6 PM. Log on to BrooklynCyclones.com to get your tickets or call 718-507-TIXX (718-507-8499).